Close sidebar

Former All Black defends Wayne Pivac’s slow start as Wales coach

Former All Black James Parsons has defended his former coach Wayne Pivac after a tumultuous first year in charge of Wales.

There were high hopes for Pivac, who took over as head coach of Wales at the start of the year, after the Kiwi brought great success to the Scarlets, winning a Pro12 title and taking them to the Champions Cup semi-final.

However, Pivac has struggled to find the same level of success in international rugby, with Wales winning just three of their 10 matches in his first year in charge.

‘I don’t think it’s panic stations’

Parsons, who played under Pivac at North Harbour, feels that the Kiwi needs more time in the job before he can put his stamp on Wales.

“If you look at the other teams that are doing quite well in international rugby, they’ve actually had consistency from the World Cup coaching group through to now.

“I don’t think it’s panic stations, but I understand Wales as a nation… If you think [New Zealanders are] rugby mad, they are rugby, rugby mad. They’ll live and breathe it more than Kiwis at some stages.

“They’ll be wanting instant results, just like our fans do as well. They want instant results, they don’t want two test losses.

“There’ll be a bit of pressure but knowing Wayne Pivac and the character he has and the experiences he’s had, he’ll draw on that and he’ll come out the other side, I have no doubt.

“I don’t know how he’s dealing with it, obviously, but I know he’s a fighter and he’s had a lot of experience with Fiji, Auckland, Harbour, a number of other teams.

“He’s had a lot of success in Wales with Scarlets and that’s how he got the job, through that success,” Parsons told the Aotearoa Rugby Pod.

‘I think it just needs time’

It’s not altogether surprising that the Welsh are struggling to adjust under a new head coach after Warren Gatland spent 12 years in charge of the national side.

The Auckland Blues hooker pointed at the likes of New Zealand and Australia as examples of teams who are also struggling under new coaches.

“I just think it just needs time … If you see all the teams that have had change, it’s still going to take time. The Wallabies are still learning with [Dave] Rennie, that’s going to take time. Fozzie’s [Ian Foster] come in [to take over the All Blacks] with a new coaching group, that’s going to take time.

“Wales, on the back of a long tenure under Warren Gatland, have now got Wayne Pivac and he’ll have system changes – and that takes time for players to understand, buy into or be able to execute,” Parsons explained.

Read More About: , ,